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U.s. 20, Clinton 13, New York 12, Virginia 12, Obama 12, Romney 12, Bill Clinton 9, Florida 8, Us 8, Anne 7, Alex Witt 7, Alex 6, Msnbc 5, Afghanistan 5, Paul Ryan 5, Richmond 5, The Home Depot 5, Joe 4, Iraq 4, Minnesota 4,
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  MSNBC    Weekends With Alex Witt    News  News/Business.  
   Live news coverage. New.  

    September 8, 2012
    9:00 - 11:00am PDT  

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] so how did it go? he's upset. [ male announcer ] spend less time at gas stations. with best in class fuel economy. it's our most innovative altima ever. ♪ hello, everyone. it is high noon in the east, 9:00 a.m. out west. here are some of the first five stories trending this hour. hitting the campaign trail, reading the jobs numbers, another atlantic storm will stirring, more mystery in the french alps killings. plus, a new coke product on the way. we have details on those stories throughout the next hour. but first -- we have breaking news. two big weather stories happening right now. in fact, fire crews are rushing to a new york city neighborhood where residents are reporting an apparent tornado. we're going to give you live pictures, this is it our 30 rock
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tower cam. the worst of the storm has passed here, but parts of new york, new jersey and connecticut are under a tornado watch until 9:00 p.m. tonight. it could bring 70-mile-an-hour winds. meanwhile in the atlantic, the squalls of tropical storm leslie are approaching bermuda. a tropical warning is in effect there. winds are 65-mile-an-hour with higher gusts. it will likely regain hurricane status in the next day or two. let's get to the ground in new york. weather channel's reynolds wolf is live in coney island. what are the conditions like there? >> reporter: well, i'll tell you what, it's been a very interesting morning, alex. we had moments when the sun was out, it was spectacular. we had a band of shower activity that came through. we had torrential downpours, had heavy lightning, even reports of a possible tornado affecting not only queens but also flatbush toward the rockaways and there have been reports of damage, really not a surprise when you have this expectation of severe weather moving from west to east
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across the empire state here. another problem that we have is the potential of more weather later on today. our friends at the storm prediction center in norman, oklahoma, have posted a tornado watch in effect for much of the region until 9:00 p.m. eastern time. that's something that wouch out for. we have that storm system, alex. that's part one. the second part we have in today's double weather whammy is right along the coast. it's interesting to take a look at this tranquil setting here on coney island beach. s because it looks phenomenal. but below the water surface we have threat of rip currents. it's not just here. to goes from maine to miami. the reason why is we have tropical storm leslie churning in the atlantic as that enhances the wave action along the eastern seaseaboard, it will ca the water to pile up in some places. when that water piles up on the shoreline, alex, it doesn't stay anchored there. it has to go back into deeper water. when that occurs at a quick, accelerated rate, it actually
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cuts a groove right through the sandbar. those grooves cause the water to move very quickly, at times up to eight feet per second. that could knock you off your feet, pull you into deeper water. that's when panic sets in. 80% of all lifeguard rescues have to do with rip currents, and they were very busy yesterday along the jersey shore, in fact, rescuing three people in a short amount of time. people aren't supposed to get in the water today. you see a couple out here. we may have a few rescues before the day is out. >> really awesome explanation on rip currents and riptides. thank you so much for that, reynolds wolf. appreciate that. for more on those developing stories, head to weather.com. a critical day unfolding on the campaign trail. both president obama, mitt romney taking their messages to key battleground states after both sizes made their case at the conventions. the president started his day in st. petersburg, florida, where he thanked president clinton for his convention speech and threw
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in a little humor. >> after he spoke somebody send out a tweet -- you should appoint him secretary of explaining stuff. i like that. secretary of explaining stuff. although i have to admit it didn't really say stuff. i cleaned that up a little bit. >> oh, my goodness. that was a good one. nbc's kristen welker is traveling with the president in the st. petersburg area. you're in seminal. what are we hearing from the president today that we actually can say on the air? just kidding. >> reporter: quite a bit, alex. a lot of people got a laugh out of that, by the way. the president is kicking off a two-day bus tour here in seminole and he's really trying to continue any bounce he may have gotten from the democratic national convention. but as you know, that has been made very difficult after friday's disappointing jobs report. just to remind our viewers, it
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shows that the economy only added 96,000 jobs, far fewer than expected. on friday, president obama said that was proof the economy has started to rebound but clearly not quickly enough. alex, today he really tried to turn the page on all of this. we didn't hear him mention the jobs report at all. instead, he criticized republicans for their tax policy, saying they're trying to solve everything with tax cuts. he also made the case that he is starting to move the economy in the right direction and that he needs four more years to continue the work that he is doing. and, in addition to all of that, alex, he tried to really rekindle some of the excitement from back in 2008 that helped him win the white house in the first place. take a listen to more of what the president had to say here in seminole. >> as i look out on this crowd, i am reminded, you were the change. folks here in florida, from every walk of life, black, white, hisses panic, asian, native-american, young, old, gay, straight, able, not disable
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ed. >> reporter: alex, as you know, florida is one of the biggest, most coveted, most important swing states. polls here show a pretty tight race, the latest one shows the president with a small lead, 50-46 over mitt romney. but the unemployment rate here is far above the national average so we expect him to be in florida quite a bit between now and election day. from here he heads to kissimmee, florida. >> given the state of the economy, kristen, is that the obama administration's chief worry at this point? >> reporter: if you talk to senior administration officials they will say, we noir the most part people's crewviews about the economy -- do they like this jobs report? absolutely not. were they disappointed? absolutely. but they believe far and wide
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people have their minds made up about the economy. when you ask them what keeps them up at night, they say the republican super pacs who are prepared to launch attack ads in the swing states, about eight of them across the country. >> kristen welker, many thanks, my friend. mitt romney is seizing on the latest jobs numbers rallying voters last night in the swing state of new hampshire. >> a number of you would come away with heavy hearts because we've had a lot of bad news lately. we've seen over the last 3 1/2 years a lot of bad news. americans are tired of being tired. these have been tough times. >> today governor romney heads to the swing state of virginia, hold a rally in virginia beach in little more than an hour. later in the day, he'll attend a nascar race in richmond. other front page political headlines for you, the battle over medical marijuana has surfaced on the campaign trail.
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paul ryan told a colorado springs radio stationing the federal government should not interfere with states that have legalized the drug for medicinal purposes. the congressman says he does not personal willly agree with the but it should be left up to the states. vice president biden heads to ohio where he will hold rallies in zanesville and athens. west coast headlines are next. the unusual change in bee population. plus, deal making for some malibu luxury homes. in office politics, which party supports the war on terror more. keep it here on "weekends with alex xrwitt." there are projects. and there are game-changers.
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oh, hey alex. just picking up some, brochures, posters copies of my acceptance speech. great! it's always good to have a backup plan, in case i get hit by a meteor. wow, your hair looks great. didn't realize they did photoshop here. hey, good call on those mugs. can't let 'em see what you're drinking. you know, i'm glad we're both running a nice, clean race. no need to get nasty. here's your "honk if you had an affair with taylor" yard sign. looks good. [ male announcer ] fedex office. now save 50% on banners
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some headlines making news on the west coast, "the los angeles times" has a front page story titled "malibu's rental tide turns." it's about how the demand for leased luxury homes has dropped in the area springs some deal-making. in spokane washington, there's a story about an expert reporting a drop in yellow jackets. a researcher says the wasp population will be below 70% to 80% this year. a possible reason is the wet and cool spring. in coos bay, oregon, a picture of a miserable looking cattle in an effort to spray and neuter feral cats in the area. new convinumbers show the president's approval rating at
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52%, up three points. at the same time, the president has opened up a three-point lead 48%-45% joining me now anne kornblut and patricia murphy, also a kribltor to "newsweek" and "the daily beast." anne, i'll begin with you as these numbers include president clint clinton's dnc speech, not the president's. can we assess this as a certifiable bounce for president obama perhaps greater than mitt romney's? >> in a word, no. i think we have to wait and see what the week tolls us. i would give it a couple more days before assessing whether there was a bounce or not. but, you know, in have been convention bounces in the past. i would remind you of four years ago when the republicans got a significant bounce out of sarah palin and that announcement and her speech. it went away pretty rapidly. it's all interesting. we're certainly going to take stock of it and write about it.
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but i think we have to look ahead to see how meaningful it is. >> we have the president's approval at 52%, but more striking is the fact that it is up nine points from just a week ago. is that a sustainable swing? >> well, i'm going to go with anne really. these swings are -- they're easy to measure sort of overnight but very hard to predict the future. and the republicans had that big, big bounce coming out of their own convention and it really is sort of like a sugar high. you see somebody like michelle obama give such an incredible speech about her husband. i think anybody married to michelle obama would have gotten a bounce out of that speech. but this is not the type of thing sustainable if you have the kind of jobs numbers that president obama. we had great headlines friday morning coming out of the convention. by noon friday, all the headlines very, very negative on the jobs picture. it will be tough to sustain it. he'll have to keep pushing to keep them up. >> preceding the jobs number, anne, as we step back from the conventions, realistically, will
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anything that happen in either of those events have any lasting effect? >> i do think it's possible. certainly bill clinton's speech to the extent it reminded voters that these two presidents were part of the same party, they share a philosophy. there were parts of bill clinton's speech that diverged from some of the other speakers going after bain and after wall street. that was not president clinton's message. president clinton could be memorab memorable. there were a couple of lines in president obama's speech that could be memorable. you know, from the republican convention, mitt romney had a good night. paul ryan, on the other hand, while he gave a good speech, there were some things in it coming under pretty heavy fire for their accuracy. there will be things that are remembered. at the end of the day, though, it's mostly imagery and pageantry. i would go out on a limb here abd say the debates will be more meaningful and memorable. >> picking up on what anne's talking about, patricia, let's listen to what former president
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bill clinton did say at the dnc. >> he has laid the foundations for a new modern successful economy. a shared prosperity. and if you will renew the president's contract, you will feel it. you will feel it. folk hes, whether the american people believe what i just said or not maybe the whole election. but i just want you to know that i believe it. with all my heart, i believe it. >> could be the whole election, patric patricia. could that just endorsement mean a win for president obama where it really matters in those swing states? do you think it could be a tipping point? >> i think obama would love it if that's all he needed to win this election. i don't think any single endorsement is going to win this for president obama. i do think, though, something bill clinton said was so important. he said no president, not me, not a republican, no president in history could have improved
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the mess that this president inherited on the economic front. i think that's the message we haven't really heard from democrats before, we certainly will haven't heard it frequently enough for them to enjoy sort of the effects of it. so i think there were a lot of messages coming out from president clinton. he really gave the obama campaign a road map for how to make the case. he made the case better for president obama than obama has ever made for himself. so i think not so much the endorsement but just the road map is the biggest favor he did for the obamas. >> 'anne, the romney attack releasing a slew of ads, three states they're not running the ads, michigan wisconsin and pennsylvania. what is it that suggest to you? are they giving up in those states? >> i don't know giving up. you could read it that way. you could also say focusing on better states. michigan was always going to be a long shot. mitt romney wants to win one of his home states, family history there. but it's been a democratic
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state. pennsylvania, we call it a swing state but that's really a misnomer. it's a state that democrats win and republicans always want to win. it's been a while since it's gone the other way. i'm not that surprised. i gegs it's a little early to not run ads there. let's wait and see if that continues. we have 58 more days. they could always change their minds. >> patricia, all said and done, the conventions may not move the needle at all. anne was saying the ultimate decider may be the debates, the first one november 3rd. is there any -- rather, october 3rd -- conventional wisdom on who is the better debater? >> the facts kind of show us that at least mitt romney has had the most experience most recently. he went through that just incredible marathon of republican debates and those debates were so important. we saw people, their campaigns were made or lost on his performances there. he has the upper hand on being more mobile, agile, ready for
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the debates. we know obama will come out swinging, will be best rehearses. romney has the more practice recent recently. i think voters are pushing carefully, moderators pushing for specifics. i think the debates will be hugely important and really could decide who comes out lead. >> you know, that may well be, but, anne, i don't think anyone would have given mitt romney nor his a-plus in his performance in those debates. does that leave the door open for the president to perform of as a better debater? >> maybe not an a-plus, but he did win the nomination after the deba debates. some of them helped him get back in the game. i think the reason they're so consequential because each comes in with the advantages. mitt romney doesn't have a full-time job right now except campaigning. the president does. you know they'll both be working but they're both competitive people. they both -- it's easy to get under their skin as we've seen
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in both of their past debates. they each come in with weaknesses. we'll see how much time president obama devotes to actually practicing for them as opposed to mitt romney. >> okay. anne, patricia, always good to see you. thank you so much. so today we asked our twitter followers, did either convention decide your vote? will the debates make a difference? here are some tweets -- as with some people, my mind was made up. this election is between two polar opposite philosophies. nope, i'm republican and stick to that party. no more dem damage, we need r&r. no, i'm committed to allowing obama to finish what he started. it's unreasonable to expect a complete reversal in four years. and i already knew who i was voting for before the conventions, but i am super excited about the upcoming debates. keep talking to me, everyone. of i'll be reading more tweets later on. now to number five on our first five web stories,
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coca-cola's newest drink is coming in drops. it is introducing da sanny drops in the coming weeks, they can be squeezed into water for instant fruity flavor. that's interesting. what makes a sleep number store different? you walk into a conventional mattress store, it's really not about you. they say, "well, if you wanted a firm bed you can lie on one of those. we provide the exact individualization that your body needs. welcome to the sleep number store's biggest sale of the year.
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not just ordinary beds on sale, but the bed that can change your life on sale. the sleep number bed. never tried this before. this is your body there. you can see a little more pressure in the hips. take it up one notch. oh gosh, yes. when you're playing around with that remote, you get that moment where you go, "oh yeah" oh, yeah! ... and it's perfect. and now through sunday only, every sleep number bed is on sale. queen mattresses now start at just $599. and save an incredible 40% on our silver limited edition bed - but only while supplies last. once you experience it, there's no going back. wow. don't miss the biggest sale of the year on the bed that can change your life. the sleep number bed. final days! sale ends sunday. only at one place: one of our 400 sleep number stores.
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the controversial announcement that came on this day in 1974, then president gerald ford addressed the nation on television granting an unconditional pardon of former president richard nixon, which exempted indictment and conviction. ford later defended his decision, explaining he wanted to end the national divisions created by the case. in 2001, the john f. kennedy library foundation presented ford an award for the pardon. all of these years later, the watergate story still fascinates. last year the nixon presidential
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library museum opened a $500,000 updated version of its watergate exhibit. it now includes the lock picking tools used to break into that democratic party headquarters as well as a lighted display showing where nixon hid microphones in the oval office and other rooms. it's time for today's number ones. first, taking stock of wall street in the white house. which recent president has been best for the stock market? >> > times have changed,s and s have i. i'm no longer just a candidate. i'm the president. >> and would you have guessed it? yes, it's president obama. cnbc compares the s&p performance over the first 43 1/2 months to posesses all the way back to jimmy carter. the s&p has gone up much better under president obama than many others. under president clinton it was
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better the only decline occurred during george w. bush's term falling 17%. please give yourselves a huge round of applause. convict grad laigss. education secretary arne duncan presenting the blue ribbon certificate to holly hawthorne, principal in virginia. hawthorne's school was named yesterday with 268 others as this year's blue ribbon zooms. when it comes to ranking schools, the state that offers the best education is massachusetts, according to the national kids camp program, new jersey heads second, just ahead of vermont new hampshire and connecticut. it's music that is making the school girls swoon these day. boy band one direction dominates the mtv awards. it's hardly a surprise, i guess, that billboard named "call me
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maybe" song of the summer. you think? those are your number ones on "weekends with alex witt." ♪ hey i just met you and this is crazy ♪ ♪ but here's my number so call me maybe ♪ ♪ it's hard to look right at you baby ♪ ♪ but here's my number so call me maybe ♪
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. welcome back to "weekends with alex witt." the vice president is in zanesville, ohio, at this hour. let's listen to joe biden as he addresses the crowd. >> you're going to say to your mom, mom, go out there in that insurance market and bargain for the best deal you can get, including if you want to buy medicare. but if it costs more than the -- if you're go -- if it costs more to get the benefits you're now
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getting, they say, mom, go borrow it somewhere. no, i'm serious. you've got to take it out of your pocket. ladies and gentlemen, that's. and that's not truthful. b what they told you is not on the level. folks, they also talked about -- isn't it amazing? the very guys that since clinton left office who ballooned the national debt once again are concerned about debt. they're talking about -- they've got that clock running back there. they don't know that, you know, they had a whole bunch of republicans running to get that clock moving the previous 20 years. but they're right. they're right about one thing. we've got to deal with the debt. they're right. there's a great -- but they talked about this great urgency to get it under control, the need to act now.
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but not once, not one single time, do they tell you that they've rejected every single solitary offer, ryan, romney, the republican congress rejected every effort to reduce the debt in the last four years. what they didn't tell you is that we met -- and i was in charge for our administration -- for days and months in negotiations. and here are the facts -- they rejected every single effort to reduce the debt put forward by us, by outside groups, by outside groups and by that bipartisan commission they keep talking about. remember how ryan talks about that bipartisan commission? they rejected every single proposal put forward to reduce the national debt because they were unwilling, unwilling to have millionaires pay $1 or 1
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cent more in taxes. >> everybody, there you hear the vice president. i'm joined right now by former pennsylvania governor ed rendell, an msnbc analyst and joe watkins republican strategist. here you hear the vice president in zanesville, ohio. we should explain it's east of columbus, in a rather rural coal mining area there of ohio and remind people as well that the president won the state of ohio back in '08. but he's really ticking off boom, boom, boom, talking about the rising cost of education, talking about medicare, talking about the debt, talking about taxes. i mean, ed, he's just going down the line. >> well, sure. i mean, i think if you talk about facts and lay the truth out, the argument is good for our side. there's no question. the republicans talk about rugs the debt, yet the ryan/romney budget would increase tax cuts, give us $5 trillion of new tax cut cuts which they say they're going to pay for, but they don't exactly say how they're going to pay for. they won't tell the american people how they're going to pay
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for it. so the arguments when we get to the facts like president clinton did so brilliantly, the arguments are on our side. >> joe, it does seem to come down to how you pay for something. right off the top, the vice president jumped on mitt romney's comment when he said, kids, go to your parents, let them borrow for your education all the way to the taxes. how do republicans combat that? >> i think you kbalt that by saying exactly what mitt romney and paul ryan have been saying over and over and over again, that you've got to cut wasteful spending, look at areas of the budget we're spending that's wasteful, where you can trim the fat and do just that, for the sake of americans, for the sake of our future. i think the important thing for both sides, whether you're republican or democrat, the important thing for both campaigns is to reach the undecideds. i don't know if the undecideds are moved by this argument. you have 23 million americans not working, a lot of them are
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low information voters, people who aren't yet paying close attention to the details of either campaign. what they want to know is, who is going to get me back to work? whoever provides the road map and gets their attention will move the needle to the plus side for themselves. >> joe, i want to talk to you about bounce numbers. three days after the rnc, the president's approval rating was at 43%, during the convention, up to 52%. >> the president is a masterful speaker. it's not surprising he would receive a bounce. he's very, very good as a speaker. he touches his hearts. i think mitt romney did an excellent job with his speech. of course the republican convention came before the democrat convention. the big question is whether or not the people who are sitting at home who haven't yet made up their mind have been moved. those are the real keys right now for both sides, certainly for republicans. the question for mitt romney is, can he reach those people who are sitting at home right now
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who may even be nominally democrats but aren't working right now. as much as they like president obama, they won't dislike president obama, but they're not working or have a paycheck come being in, can't pay their bills. they'll give mitt romney a chance if he'll show them how to get a job. >> to that end, governor, when the jobs numbers came out, was there a a sense the post-convention party was over? >> no. i think no one expects this recovery to shoot up and happen in two months. it's a long slug. president clinton said it best. he said no president including himself could have cured the entire mess that was left to barack obama. >> absolutely. >> -- in one term. >> true, true, true. the problem is, how long do you think people are going to be patient for this? it is so hard to be patient when you don't have money in your wallet? >> that's right. >> aboright. but there are good indicias. the stock market is at its highest level in four years. that matters to ordinary people
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with 401(k)s. their 401(k)s have doubled in value. that will help them in requirements. >> if you're working. >> even if you're not, you may still have the 401(k)s. there are good indicias in our economic news. 36 months we've gained jobs. when you contrast that to what was happening when obama took office and we were losing 800,000 jobs per month. it's steady progress. is it good enough? no. but last october as you know, alex, the president put a jobs bill will before the congress. every component had been approved in the past by republicans. but for political reasons they said no to all of it. the cbo now says somewhere between 1 million and 2 million jobs would have been created if that jobs bill had passed. >> nobody disagrees that the president isn't trying hard to change the situation. the problem is that he's had four years and it hasn't happened yet. >> you he can't do it by himself, joe.
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he has to get congress to pass the legislation that he put forth. >> well, of course he needs the help of congress, but they expect their president whether that president is democrat or republican to be skillful enough to get members of congress to work with him or her. that is the challenge. he has not been able -- he has really not been able to get republicans or democrats to work with him to get the legislation that he wants passed. >> joe, i know -- >> people are suffering. they just want it done. they just want it done. if romney can get it done, they're going to give him a chance. >> i know you're a reasonable guy, joe. how can the president get something passed when the republican leader of the senate said, our first priority is to make sure barack obama is a one-term president? no senator, your first priority is to do what's right for the country. >> i think the way he does it is he goes to the states, goes to the hill. you can see how many times he's gone to capitol hill to plead his case and make friends with the house and senate.
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>> the first priority to make sure he's ace one-term president? >> there are plenty of republicans in both the house and senate that dshg -- >> but that's the senate leader. and paul ryan attended a meeting on inauguration day for barack obama on how to defeat him for reelection. >> well, political parties always want their guy to win. >> stunning. that's stunning. >> the democrats want their guy to win. at the end of it, i like what mitt romney said at the convention, i wish barack obama had succeeded, it would have been great for america if he had succe succeeded. he hasn't been able to. and he needs a road map to succeed. you can't blame the former president. >> alex, quickly, democrats helped george w. bush. we voted for the war in iraq. we voted for ed i care part d. ted kennedy sponsored no child left behind. we didn't say, we want this president to fail so we're not going to cooperate. we tried to help him in his major initiatives. you republicans haven't done the same. you've tried to torpedo barack
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obama from day one. >> i like difference of opinion stress expressioned like this. i wish you guys could be models for capitol hill. >> ed rundell is smart and a great man. >> we're both penn guys. >> that's right. well, the president paused from the campaign trail too deliver his weekly address. today he marked 11 years since the september 11th attacks and talked about u.s. security now. >> instead of pulling back from the world we've strengthened our alliances while improving our security here at home. as americans, we refuse to live in fear. today a new tower rises above the new york skyline, and our country is stronger, safer, and more respected in the world. >> on the heels of that, in today's "office politics," my conversation with evan coleman, he talks about the extent to which terrorists are likely operating right here on u.s. soil to avenge the death of osama bin laden. but first i asked about the
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controversy around the new navy s.e.a.l. book on the billin lad raid. >> i think any document that refers to something like the death of osama bin laden will, that's something you want the u.s. government to be carefully perfe perusing through, prior to publication. i think that's the most appropriate way of doing this. >> and this was not. >> it wasn't. that being said, i think it's also fair to say that a lot of information about the bin laden raid, correct or incorrect, has been leaked since the raid took place. so, you know, i am not condoning in any way releasing state secrets, but i don't think that this seal .e.a.l. is the only o responsible for it. the s.e.a.l.s obviously didn't have direct contact or direct relationship with president obama. i don't think that that's part of their personal, recollections. that sounds more like politics from me. >> on the broader sense, when it comes to politics, is the fight
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against terrorism something that achieves bipartisan support no matter what? >> there is this conception, i think part of it based out of the early part of the last decade when you had president bush and the republican party make it their mantra, we are the people that are tough on terrorism. but that is a political slogan, and it should be understood that democrats and the democratic party and pretty much everyone involved with u.s. political system are very aggressive against terrorist orgszs, terrorist leaders. the problem of terrorism. this is a universal issue. and i think if you look at the record of the obama administration in terms of what they have achieved, it's simply beyond the pale to suggest they are any less dedicated to fighting international terrorism than any previous administration or any other political party. >> are there still al qaeda operatives seeking revenge killing for the death of osama bin laden? >> you bet. you bet. 100%.
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>> where? here? >> well, look, we know that they exist in afghanistan and pakistan. not large nuks but they're there. we also know there's a significant group of them in yemen and there's a significant group in somalia. do they exist here in the u.s.? yeah, they do. there are people here in the u.s. who are violent extremists who would like to cause violence to other americans. >> tell me how you got into this. >> it goes way back. when i was in college back in the late 1990s i was looking for something interesting to do. i was at georgetown, i was in d.c., i was interinterested in international relations and i became very interested in terrorism organizations which at the time marked me as an oddball. most didn't understand where that came from, and up until about 9/11 i think that persisted. >> here we are with an incredible array, some of which look terribly frightening. can i pick this up? >> please. >> this is unique. >> yeah. it's a knife from jordan t. was actually picked up by one of our
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employees here. >> can i -- >> oh, please. go ahead. if you can get it open. actually, here. >> yeah, you probably better do that. there we go. yeah, that will do some damage. thankfully it's never been used in anger, although this does worry me a little. i've never actually seen that before. but, yeah, these are kind of -- honestly, whenever we get people from, especially parts of the middle east, a lot of times either we get knives or we give them. in this case, like the one right here, is something i got last year in saudi arabia. >> really? >> in rey awed. i actually picked up this knife because of the fact that another one i looked at, when the guy told me what the price was, i said something a lot cheaper than that. so we ended up with this. but, yeah, it's -- like i said, it's not what you usually find in an office. >> no. >> but it does keep us warm inside. >> but you also have awards. >> ironically enough, the knife was actually an award. we do get recognized by various law enforcement organizations
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around the world. >> it is international. >> yeah. >> which means everybody is trying to work together. >> yeah. i think that's one of the things that we really focus in on here, is making sure this doesn't become too america-centric. this is not just a nationalistic endeavor. >> tomorrow at this time, evan will share his greatest fear challenging u.s. security. we'll show you an example of u.s. propaganda in the war on terrorism. that was actually really cool to see. now to number four on our first five web stories, the french alps murder mystery. british police search the home of a british-iraqi couple murdered in the alps. the couple and an iraqi-born swedish woman were shot and killed this week. then the body of a french cyclist was found nearby. the couple's two young daughters survived the attack. they're under police protection but the motive for the attack remains unclear.
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now to must see/must avoid, a big bachelorette party, a spy thriller set in spain and a story about marriage more ality i. fist up "the words" with bradley cooper. >> be somebody everybody knows. >> feels good to have your work recognized, yeah. >> i read your book. i liked it. >> ooh, is it a must see or must avoid? here with the answer is kim saraf sarafin. hi, kim. >> hi, how are you? >> good. let's get your take on this movie. >> unfortunately i'm going to say must avoid. and you know what? bradley cooper is great, jeremy irons is great. it has this great proems. it's basically about bradley coop cooper playing an unsuccessful
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author who finds a manuscript in an old briefcase and passes it off as his own and becomes successful and zeals with his deception. deals with moral questions but never really pulls it together. kind of convoluted stories within stories. doesn't really add up. >> next, bruce willis acting in "the cold light of day." how does it compare to his other action films? >> you know, this is another situation where it's a great premise, a spy action thriller about a young man whose family gets kidnapped, hes has to figure out where they are. he gets chased through the streets of madrid. there's also a briefcase in this, too, nothing to do with the one in "the words." it's very standard, cliche, predictable. it's like the bourne movies so it's pretty predictable. you'll see the car chases, the shootouts. it doesn't really have a story that pull it's all together, unfortunately. >> all right, kiersten duns in "the bachelorette".
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>> this one i'm going to say must see. this is definitely like "bridesmaids," that raunchy comedy, mean girls with the girms all grown up. it was made for $3 million and they actually released it a month ago on itunes and it's been a huge success there. now they're rolling it out in the theaters. but i think women will like it. it's female empowerment, yes, it's raunchy. be aware. there's drug use, lots of bad language, lots of sexual situations. but you know what? it's females being funny and showing that females can be funny, too. so i like that. >> kim sarafin, thanks for sharing. >> thanks. a new dash cam void yoe that comes with a lesson about just how dangerous highways can be. some video. yikes!
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. in the race for president, both sides trying to frame these, 96,000 jobs created in august, lower than expected. the jobless rate dropped from 8.3% to 8.1%.
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with me, jared bernstein msnbc contributor and former chief economist for vice president joe biden. jared, with a good day to you, at this point, two months before election day, what do you say being the best-case snar yoe wifor the white house and the president with respect to jobs? >> i think more of the kinds of messages you've heard from the white house over the last couple of days. i mean, they'd obviously like to see jobs reports beating expectations instead of, as you say, under performing, but, as long as they're generating numbers in the, say, 100,000 to 150,000 range which is where i would put this one, they can say, look, we should be doing better, we need to do better, but we are moving in the right direction. just not quickly enough. and, by the way, about a year ago they tryied to take out insurance against precisely, this deacceleration, the american jobs act,s republicans blocked that. >> what about employers?
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any chance they're stalling on hiring because the presidential election is nearing, they're waiting to see which way it turns? >> i really don't. a lot of us who work in this business kind of tell ourselves stories like that because we're so focused on that kind of data and dynamic. basically, if you're an employer and there's enough demand for your good or your services that you're selling that you would actually be leaving money on the table, leaving profit on the table were you not to hire an extra worker, you're going to hire that extra worker. if you don't, you may well go out of business. i think that's what's driving things, larger macroeconomics having to do with weak demand, which has been pretty persistent since the great depression. >> there's another available to talk about, jared. the stock market is up to its highest level since '08. this must at least make their voters feel more comfortable because of their 401(k)s. do you think the president can leverage any of this? >> i do. i think that the president has to kind of pull out every
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positive indicator he's got, and this is absolutely one of them. by the way, you remember the other night when president clinton said how much stronger job growth has been among democrats than republicans? it's the same thing with the stock market. interestingly, the stock market has done a lot better under democrats. >> yeah. >> i don't know that it's particularly moving to, say, middle class americans, but i think it's an important indicator. >> yeah. i know we saw that -- we actually just talked about this hour how i believe the stock market has risen more under president obama, he ate the first, then president clinton, then george h.w. bush in the first 43 months. >> there's another important point in that. you see the bifurcation between the stock market and people whose incomes are very much a function of their stock or bond portfolio versus their paycheck, a really divergence of those fort tunes and those of the job market and the paychecks of, say, middle class workers.
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that's in the data. >> jared bernstein, always good to talk to you thanks. the new book that questions whether the maerodern army is f to serve. you'll hear from the author here "weekends with alex witt." ! it'd to have a backup plan, in case i get hit by a meteor. wow, your hair looks great. didn't realize they did photoshop here. hey, good call on those mugs. can't let 'em see what you're drinking. you know, i'm glad we're both running a nice, clean race. no need to get nasty. here's your "honk if you had an affair with taylor" yard sign. looks good. [ male announcer ] fedex office. now save 50% on banners.
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good day to all of you and welcome to "weekends with alex witt." it's 1:00 in the east, 10:00 in the west. new this hour, a crucial day of battleground campaigning with mitt romney crisscrossing virginia this afternoon and president obama rallying voters in seminole, florida, just a short time ago. >> both sides have made their arguments now, and i know you have a lot of national republicans in the neighborhood making their argument, we've made ours. so now you've got a big choice to make. >> the president right there hammering home the message that this election is a choice in contrast with some republicans saying this should be a
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referendum on his four years in office. nbc's mike viqueira is at the white house for us. >> reporter: hello, alex. >> where is the president headed today? >> reporter: you heard the president make reference to the fact there were republicans in the neighborhood. well, mitt romney and the president will be bumping elbows, almost into the two of each other over the next two months. you look at the eight battleground states, they'll be there constantly and we can almost say exclusively unless they go outside of them for fund raising. look, yesterday the president was in ohio and new hampshire. where was mitt romney? ohio and new hampshire. i kicked off his bus tour in florida, mitt romney in virginia. he'll be a nascar race in richmond, then virginia beach. but we're talking about a relatively small sliver of the population. if you add up all those undecided votes in eight states, most people estimate it will be
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about a million voters they are trying to sway and they'll all be in those markets. the ad wars now continuing, really ramping up the obama campaign announcing a 15 separate ads running in 8 separate states, a multimillion-dollar buy. new announce thes from the super pacs from the campaigns themselves. a lot of markets like columbus, ohio, i don't know if you remember the movie clock watch orange, they're going to be so sick of looking at these ads they'll be reaching the saturation point, but the campaign both sides stepping on the gas, the president hitting the themes he hit in the convention, trying to amplify that bounce he may get in the public opinions polls. >> our movie efish it naud dough and much more, mike viqueira. thank you very much. mitt romney has his eye set on virginia today. the republican presidential nominee is scheduled to speak in virginia beach, in about 30 minutes. after that, he'll head to richmond. nbc's peter alexander is
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traveling with the romney campaign. peter, with a good day to you, what are we expecting from the governor today in virginia? >> reporter: alex, perhaps you could say the romney campaign is focusing on the movie "stand and deliver." romney has consistently been focused on convincing the voters he believes many have confirmed their opinion, the choice has been made so many voters. he's trying to get those people to turn the vote as many of the other people in the key swing states like the state of virginia. we are on the campaign bus right now en route to virginia beach where he'll be hosting -- attending an event a short time from now. onest important points that we just heard from mike a short time ago is this new emphasis -- i mean, these last several days and next several days will be a preview of what we will see over the next two months leading up to election day, those 15 new ads and 8 critical battleground states all tailored to those states specifically. in florida, for example, focus
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on falling real estate values and high foreclosure rates, in colorado with the military and its contractors large employers who will focus on the president's budget cuts that could cost military jobs there and states like iowa they focus on what romney refers to as excessive government regulations that he says are crushing small businesses. now, here in virginia obviously a big military population as well, romney here today, his wife here yesterday. knees folks are not leaving any vote unattended to. they are trying to focus on every last voter. in the words of one adviser, they said, there may just be a total of 1 million undecided votes over the course of those eight states they're really focused on trying to turn right now. >> that's pretty incredible. i know richmond he's attending the nascar event. can i just ask you peter, how's the weather? it's terrible here in new york.
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i guess peter was hit with bad weather. maybe we lost the signal on the phone. thank you, peter. joining me now for more front page politics, molly ball and perry bacon jr., also an msnbc contributor. glad you're hooked up, not having problems with you. molly, beginning with you here, as we are two months away from election day, whoo do you think is the best-case scenario with the white house and president with respect to jobs? >> obviously the best-case scenario would be a sudden turnaround, things suddenly start getting better, these jobs reports instead of coming in under expectations start beating them instead. the bhiet house and the president's campaign no better than stake everything on crossing their fingers and hoping like that. they know they don't have a lot of control over how these numbers are going to fluctuate over the next couple of months. so, as we've seen over the last several months, when there has been this continual drum beat of sort of mediocre news, they're trying to change the subject, find silver linings, trying to
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find ways to explain these numbers and make people feel better about them and of course trying to disqualify the opponent, romney. and i think what we've seen is that, even though this economic news keeps coming out bad, obama's far from being out of this thing. so, to some extent, that strategy has been successful. >> parry, if you look at the unemployment rate, it went down from 8.3% to 8.1% but it's because some people stopped looking for work altogether. despite this disappointing jobs number, do you think that lower 0.2% makes the jobs report easier to sell for the president? >> i really don't. you didn't heathat in any way. we're talking -- the jobs report was not great. we shouldn't sugar-coat it. people stopped looking for work, that's not great. the president is not making the case that things are great but i would do a better job returning the economy to a strength than mitt romney. that's where all the choice language came in. his speech thursday night, bill
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clinton's wednesday night was very much about things are improving slightly but our guy is better than mitt romney. i don't think they'll try to make the case the economy is in the stage will it should be. >> what about this, molly? this past week we saw so muchbamuch back-and-forth on this, are you better off argument? who do you think is winning that argument and does it matter in the battleground states? >> i think it absolutely does matter. it was interesting to see the democrats really scramble on this question when they started getting asked about it a week ago. it's exactly what parry is talking about. it's very dangerous for the president and democrats to find silver linings in these numbers and to try to tell people that things are better than people feel they are. when you have an overwhelming majority of people who feel like things are on the right trook, who feel like the economy is lou lousy, if you try to tell them it's roses and sunshine, they're just going to think you're out of touch. it's a very delicate balance for the democrats. just like parry said, the main argument they'll be making is,
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look, we know it's bad. we're not out to lunch here. we understand things aren't good, but they could be worse if you elect the other guy. >> they're not good unless you're investing in the stokt market, it's up to its highest level since 2008. it's got to make some voters feel more comfortable because of their p 401(k)s looking ger. do you think the president is able to leverage any of this? >> i think he's able to leverage the fact that, let's be honest, 80% of the public is high, there are swing voters employed and thinking about other issues as well. you saw the convention, the democrats talked about abortion rights, they talked about tax rates, they talked about education. i think one of the things you'll see in the next two months is they're going to try to expand the issues that we're talking about to make sure it's not only mitt romney says 8.3%, 8.1%, unemployment high, this is not a one-issue country. obama will make the point there are more issues to talk bl, including 401(k)s, but really issues beyond just purely how
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does your wall willette look? most people don't vote exactly on their income and how it's changed. obama will try to expand the group of issues we talk about in the next 60 days. >> molly, i'm looking at your latest article "convention wrap: hopeless." what does that mean? >> the theme of the president's speech thursday night was hope. which we've heard from him before. it's long been one of his sort of trademarks. he began on talking about how that hope he campaigned on to begin with has been tested and brought it back around at the end that the american people give him hope and this is why we can have hope for the future. but i found and a lot of commentators found listening to the speech there wasn't a lot of concrete reason for hope in it and that -- you know, the president's job after michelle sort of testified to his character and president clinton told us about all of the great things he's already done, the president's job was to look forward and articulate this concrete forward-looking vision for the future so that people
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could believe that he's really got a plan to turn this around. and it was -- there wasn't a lot in there that really i think was convincing on that score. now, i think that was true for romney as well so i think the reason this race is probably going to continue to be static coming out of both conventions is neither candidate really gave the american people confidence that they have a plan for the future. >> well, and you've got to factor into this the latest jobs numbers because, parry, the president has opened a three-point lead ahead of mitt romney in this new daily gallup tracking poll, it doesn't include the president's speech at the dnc. do you expect more of a bounce for the president in the coming days or might the jobs numbers stifle that? >> i'm not sure we'll see a big bounce but not because of the jobs numbers but because the electorate is so polarized. i think it's hard to believe -- in the past we've seen a candidate get a ten-point lead, bush got a big lead in 2004. you're not going to have that
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because about 47% of the people are voting for mitt romney and at least 47% for the president as well. you only have 5% to 7% undecided so you can't really have a big bounce because most voters are not moving, most are committed to their candidates. i think that's the trouble why neench candidate can get a big league because how 0 polarized we are in the electorate. >> parry, molly, great having you on, thank you. we invite all of you to see "meet the press," an exclusive interview with mitt romney and david gregory. breaking news from new york city. a possible tornado may have touched down in a beachside neighborhood in queens. now, police are telling us that there are no injuries and structural damage is minimal, but look at central park right now where it is calm but there are warnings throughout this entire area. it's been that way all night. perth officials are putting several other states on alert as the severe weather moves through. a tornado warning is in effect for connecticut, affecting the cities of fairfield and new
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haven. heads-up up there. meanwhile, other portionses of connecticut along with new york, massachusetts and vermont, they're all under a tornado watch until 10:00 p.m. eastern. will. still ahead, everyone, today's big three money headlines, including the high cost of day care. where are parents paying the most for child care? and what's old is new again. a melodic support for president obama. you're watching "weekends with alex witt. will" [ "human" by the human league playing ] humans. we mean well, but we're imperfect creatures living in a beautifully imperfect world. it's amazing we've made it this far. maybe it's because when one of us messes up, someone else comes along to help out. that's the thing about humans. when things are at their worst, we're at our best. see how at libertymutual.com. liberty mutual insurance -- responsibility. what's your policy?
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. now to the conventions are over, the next crucial event in the race for the white house comes on october 3rd with the first of three presidential debates. it will focus on domestic policy. the second debate will include
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domestic and foreign policy, the last one october 27th will just be on foreign policy. now to our three big money headlines, a silver lining to the jobs report? the cost of raisetion a baby. and airfares taking off. joining me now is morgan brennan from "forbes." nice to see you. >> nice to see you as well. >> let's start with the jobs report. as we said, it has missed expectations, and that was all over the news yesterday, the u.s. adding 96,000 jobs. august unemployment rate at 8.1%. is there a silver lining? >> i think if you're a bright-eyed optimist you may say at least we added jobs instead of losing jobs, as it was the case a few years ago. that said, i personal willie thil think this report is much worse than some are suggesting. here's why. because 400,000 people, just under 400,000 people, left the work force left month. and many of those people were actually young professionals and young adults. they stopped looking for stops. that's part of the reason the unemployment rate ticked down. it actually brings us down to
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the lowest rate of people in the labor force in the u.s. in 30 years. that's a huge number. according to the data we've got about 12.5 million people out of work, 40% of them long-term unemployed. given the fact so many people have left the work force i would say that number is actually probably a lot higher. >> sounds like a false positive. let's talk about the latest report from the department of agriculture. it's about the most expensive states in which to raise kids. number one, not much of a shocker, right here in our backyard, new york. but number two is a bit of a surprise. talk about these two states. why so high? >> the second state on this particular list is minnesota. it perhaps sounds like a little surprising. "forbes" in the past has actually done many lists looking at similar will data points according to cities. minneapolis, minnesota, tends to land on the list. part of the reason minnesota is so costly is because of child care, the cost of putting a child through care, having them in child care versus median
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income for the state, is a very tight level. >> maybe they don't have the kind of day cares and centers here in new york because it's less expensive in terms of your child care in new york state? >> well, in new york state the cost of living in general is so much higher, in minnesota it's not as high. the median income level is lower, but the child care in general is much higher. you don't have as much to choose from. >> interesting. how about the airfares? they are taking off. do you know how high they're going to go? >> that remains to be seen. for the first three months of this year it rose almost 5%, airfares. they've been going up since then. delta, united, southwest, those are the most recent airlines to raise prices in the last couple of weeks. i think we'll see prices go higher. analysts agree. there's two major reasons, in my opinion. the first is the price of jet fuel. it's very closely linked to the price of oil, which we've seen go up. and airlines tend to push that cost out on consumers. we're seeing higher prices there.
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the other reason is because of capacity. a lot of airlines are cutting back on the number of seats they're offering. the boyd group estimates about 7 million less seats will be seen in the second half of 2012. that will keep prices higher. >> absolutely. thanks, morgan. have you checked out the new obama girl video? still got a crush on obama was released this week. so far it's only been viewed about 98,000 times. it sounds just like the 2008 version because the singer was actually part of a writing duo who hired amberliettinger to be the original obama girl. the president has created a lot of great changes, it says, and hopefully has a chance to do more over the next four years. ♪ you're still the sexiest candidate ♪ at purina one,
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after campaigning yesterday in iowa with the vice president -- the president, rather, vice president biden is campaigning in another crucial state, that is ohio. mitt romney spends the day in the tossup state of virginia. he'll speak at a rally at virginia beach within the hour. he will also attend a nascar race tonight in richmond. and paul ryan will be in california for an event this afternoon. google headquarters, as well as a fund raiser this evening in fresno. well, a new dash cam video reminds us just how dangerous highways can become when drivers don't pay close attention to first responders on the side of the road. and, as you are going to see, what was captured on this tape was quite disturbing. >> reporter: it all happened in an instant during a routine traffic stop. a tractor trailer driving too close to the shoulder slammed into maryland state trooper david auf owe law's patrol car and then struck auf law.
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he immediately called dispatch for help, making his way to the guardrailing before collapsing. >> stay in the car! stay in your car! >> i heard the rumble strip, but i took a glance over my shoulder and saw it. >> reporter: close calls caught on camera happen more often than you might think. in new york, a car spun out of control due to icy road conditions slamming into an officer who was assisting another driver. in michigan, a policeman nearly escaped being pinned between two cars in a crash investigation. in texas, an officer barely got away after a speeding car hit his patrol car. >> avola now in physical therapy isn't sure when he will be able to move his arm or return to work. he hopes his near-death experience urges drivers to be more careful.
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>> my main thing right now would be just to bring more to light what the law is and what it's there for, to at least keep other officers from having to go through the same thing. >> can you believe that video? avola is hoping his near-death experience in june will urge more motorists to stay alert especially in maryland with their new move-over law requires drivers to slow down or switch lanes even when they see emergency responders on the side of the road. now to some quick trend spotting in today's ups and downs. twitter takes the lead over facebook in a battle over mobile advertising revenue. a new report predicts twitter will take in $130 million from advertising, facebook about $73 million. now to the study on personal will hygiene that shows fewer people are washing their hands after visiting a public restroom, yuck! 70% say they always wash their hands, good, gi's, but still 20% less than last year. research finds women are more likely than men to wash their
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hands. and this is a big old youtube hit, a korean rapper's hit music video called "gangnam style." in a month and a half, the video has reached almost 125 million will views. and those are today's ups and downs. come on, just play it away jason. ♪ ♪ [ male announcer ] the first look...is only the beginning. ♪ ♪ introducing a stunning work of technology.
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and the first ever es hybrid. a thing that helps you wbuy other things.hing. but plenty of companies do that. so we make something else. we help make life a little easier, more convenient, more rewarding, more entertaining. year after year. it's the reason why we don't have customers. we have members. american express. welcome in. welcome back to "weekends with alex witt." it is half past the hour right now, and the taliban says it is behind a deadly suicide bombing in afghanistan's capital. police say the bomber was a teenager. the blast killed several people, mostly afghan children. today's attack happened near the nato headquarters in kabul, close to both the u.s. and italian embassies. atia bowie is there live with the latest. let's get the latest, you sure
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hate hearing about the children being involved in this. >> reporter: hi, alex. it's another very depressing day here in kabul. six afghan civilians were killed when a suicide bomber went into a diplomatic area, as you mentioned, isaf headquarters and several foreign embassies including the u.s. embassy are located there. the taliban claimed responsibility saying their suicide bomber targeted a covert cia torture center. but i can tell you from the video that we saw, the pictures that we saw, there were children that were killed in that attack. they say they killed five cia agents but we saw the bodies of those children, children that are there selling trinkets. they've been there for several years. we've seen them all the time. they're just trying to support their family and now, today after years of being there, unfortunately those children are dead, including other afghan civilians.
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alex? >> it's heartbreaking. with regard to the suicide bomber, what, maybe 13, 14 years old, they're saying? >> reporter: that's what they say, but it's still not clear how the afghan police can identify exactly the able of the suicide bomber. i've seen the bodies of suicide bombers in the past, and their limbs go everywhere. you can't really tell the age of the bomber, but the afghan police say it's a teenager. the taliban say it's a 28-year-old from a province south of kabul. you can't really be sure in these situations. >> wow, you've sure seen a lot. let's talk about something a little more light hearted. unless you're prince harry who is doing something pretty serious. he did begin his deployment yesterd yesterday. >> reporter: he did. he just finished his first part of initial will training. he has about a ten-day training period before he goes out on these apache missions himself. he's a co-pilot, gunner for the helicopters where he's in charge
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of a lot of arsenal as he attacks the insurgency. he's basically going to be covering other missions to make sure that other, say, chinook helicopters, supplies coming into different areas are getting there safely. he's providing cover for them. right now he's in the initial period where he's training. he's looking forward to it. he's wanted to come back when he left in 2008. back then his deployment was a secret. this time it was announced beforehand. it was blown by a tabloid and prince harry was forced to leave. >> thank you so much for the live report. a new book questions whether the modern u.s. army is fit for service. it is called "irregular army," the premise has the military struggled to attract new soldiers? america's armed forces became populated with an increasing numbers of neo-nazis with criminals even those physically and mentally unfit. joining me is the author of the
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book matt ken ard, retired colonel jack jacobs, msnbc analyst. gentlemen, glad to have you here. an absolutely fascinating discussion we'll have about this book. matt, how pervasive of a problem are you alleging this is? >> well, the figure that's often used is 1,500. that sounds low in a military of over 2 million, but some of those people are some of the most violent and criminal-minded people in america. so if you think of it like that, all it takes is one of them to lose it on one occasion like we saw with the oak creek massacre, which was carried out by a veteran of the u.s. army from the 1990s. tragedies like that, i mean, are rare, but the threat they pose has increased marketedly over the past decade. >> you've kind of preempted something here i was going to pick up. but, look, 1,500 you're suggesting here, are you somewhat managing to pluck needles from a haystack? because the u.s. military is massive.
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is there an argument to be made that this book may be a very efbtive book-selling narrative but it's somewhat of a distortion, given these numbers? >> it's not a distortion because the fact is that the u.s. military does have regulations to govern the recruitment of neo-nazis and white supremacists and they were completely torn up during the war on terror because the army was failing to recruit sufficient troops. i can understand how it looks like a sensationalist narrative but it's definitely not. it's a narrative which should shock most americans because the threat now with the war in iraq finished, well ostensibly finished and the war in afghanistan winding down in 2014, that the wars now and the threat to the population of the united states is now increasing. and it's not just white supremacies and neo-nazis. that's one of the specific investigations i did. what's more widely known are the
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soldiers with mentally unhealthy disorders. >> that is perhaps an entirely separate conversation. when you talk about the suicides and all those kind of things, deplorable numbers there. that said, colonel, regarding the first part of our conversation with matt, any validity to this? do you or any of your current military colleagues recognize this as a problem? >> well, there had been some problem in the past. don't forget we decided that we were going to go to war and we required a large number of troops without having the political will to have a draft and, therefore, widespread service. and anytime a society does that, you're going to have to relax the standards. and for a period of time we did have either mlax standards or standards not followed. the people who recruit soldiers, sailors, airmen and marines into the service don't have to deal with them once they're in. having said all that, at the end of the day, it's good leadership
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inside the service that solves that problem. there was some laxity in that, too. but now the requirement is for a far smaller number of people in the service, that problem has largely disappeared. >> matt, what types of soldiers did you meet while you researched this book? >> i mean, i met and spoke to on the phone a lot of extremist veterans and leaders of the far right movement who are basically saying they were using the military to train their members for a racial holy war back in the united states. so they didn't see the u.s. military as a way to spread democracy to iraq and afghanistan. they didn't believe in the fairy tale narrative of the war on terror. what they saw the u.s. military as was a means to acquire the training in weapons, in tactical skills in order to fight their war back in the united states. >> but, matt -- >> you mention the small number. >> matt, my question is, you also talk about convicted felons. really? you're going to stand by that,
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convicted felon ss? >> yes. >> colonel, how do convicted felons get in the military and do you believe that? >> there's a requirement that people not have a criminal record, but, from time to time, there have been waivers that have been issued that permit people who have certain kinds convictions to get into the service. i'll tell you an anecdote briefly. when i first came into the army we needed large numbers of people for the war in vietnam, and the urban legend is really true there are circumstances, situations in which people who were before judges got the option of either 30 days in jail or two years in the army and they selected the latter. that doesn't happen anymore. however, it's definitely true that a large proportion of the american public is not fit for military service and from time to time they sneak through. >> is this -- >> can i just add something to that? >> yes. >> you said, do you stand by this? this santa ana a secret. it was covered quite extensively in the u.s. media at the time.
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henry waxman a congressman from california was the lawmaker that basically prized this information from the pentagon. they were hiding it. he found upwards of 50,000 people recruited on what jack refers to moral waivers which are waivers given to persistent criminals or felons who want to serve. now -- >> whoa, whoa. it's very important that we don't exaggerate this. there is a significant number of waivers that are issued, but a very small number of them are for persistent criminals. the large proportion of them are for waivers for minor offenses. having said all that, i'd like to see everybody in my service have a clean record. but, of course, that's not going to be the case. >> colonel, is this sort of a necessary evil because it is a volunteer military. in other words, you have to take what you can get? >> well, there's a certain truth to that. any society that wants to defend itself with an extremely small number of people or a larger number of people but is not willing to serve itself is looking for trouble. and we look for trouble for the
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past decade as we're trying to fight wars in southwest asia but without a draft, without universal service. if you're going to do that, if you're going to fight wars without widespread service you're going to have problems like this from time to time. >> matt, quickly the last word. >> can i give you just another example of why it became such a chronic issue, also because donald rumsfeld had this idea of transforming the pentagon whereby wars would be short and fought with special forces who would overthrow the regime and let the u.s. military getting out within a couple of years. that didn't happen as we know in iraq and afghanistan. basically the pentagon was not prepared in any way for the kind of extended deployment of huge numbers of troops. in the absence of enacting subscripti subscription, they turned back on changing regulations. some of those regulations were public, like they raised the enlistment age from 35 to 40,
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then to 42. but some of them they did by the back door and it took investigative journalists, courageous lawmakers to uncover what was happening in the u.s. military. >> that's all the time we have. "irregular army," author matt kennard and colonel jack jacobs. we want to say we reached out to the department of defense. we're still waiting for a response. how can president obama build on the post-convention bounce, or will it simply come down to pure economics?
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guy on board today. the latest jobs report did not meet analysts' expectations. mitt romney's really going after the president on the economy right now, he asks the question, are you better off? how does the president frame the issue to make it workable? >> well, he has to tell the whole story. what mitt rom fwe and his fem are looking at is just what happened the last four years. you have to actually look at what the situation was when the president arrived at 1600. so when you paint the picture, tell the story, talk very clearly about what you've done and be frank with the american people that you have a ways to go. i think he can get his message across. >> yeah. you know, there was someone -- actually, the president himself said he had a tweet that said he should hire bill clinton as the educator in chief, although there were a couple of other colorful words written in there. but when you think about bill clinton, should the president employ him and say, get off the road, get out there? because he does explain things
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well. >> well, he'll be out there for sure. this is important to bill clinton's legacy as well to make sure we have a democratic president in the white house. so you will see him on the stump and he'll do a terrific job. >> susan, despite the latest jobs report here, the stock market has climbed to its highest level in 2008, what's more the private economy has added private sector jobs for 30 straight months now. why can't the republicans give the president any credit? >> it's not so much about giving credit. what the republicans are going to do is basically speak to people who are still hurting. you can tell them that the unemployment number has ticked down and politically that was great for the president, but unless people are getting jobs, what they don't tell is the other side of the story, that hundreds of thousands of people did not seek jobs in the last month. people are going to vote on their pocketbook. if they haven't had a job in two years, that's what they're going to feel. i think we can play around with all the numbers and tell all the stories we want, but, at the end. day, if people don't have work, that's -- they're going to vote
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for mitt romney. >> so, anne, almost wiexactly t months from the election, what is the best-case scenario for the white house and the president when it comes to jobs? >> i think probably a holding pattern at this point. the jobs reports, it's true, haven't been great for them, but they haven't been apocalyptipoc. i think he has a little bit of the edge by the virtue of being an incumbent. so i think if they can hope there's not a cratering between now and the election, they can hope for incredible will improvement, but there's some evidence to suggest that people's views on the economy are fairly locked in by labor day, so no matter what happens in the next 57 days there may not be any big changes. >> morris, our next topic is going into the economy, the democratic convention. it's over, but do you think any bounce from that could be erased by the lackluster jobs report? how much did the jobs numbers take away from the dnc? >> i think the fact the
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president was frank and spoke clearly about the fact there's a ways to go it wasn't surprising. i don't think they were looking for a big bounce because it's very close. i think this is going to come down to the debates and milt romney has a history of not doing well. look what happened with him with ted kennedy. he was up doing well and he went into the debate and fell apart. when you speak very clearly to the american people about what you're going to do, if you're not clear you're going to lose. >> here is a little detail nugget here i want to share with you, susan. a lot of reporters just said there was more enthusiasm at the dnc for the president than there was for governor romney at the rnc. for the entire rnc, the speakers mentioned mitt romney's name 213 times. in the first night alone in the dnc, speakers mentioned president obama's names more than 250 times. this updated gallup poll showing a four-point lead ahead of romney. how worried should republicans be about the enthusiasm level?
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>> i think at the end of the day both are going to play to the bases and get their voter turnout there. we're going to see those polls kind of stay within two, three, four woints. without a doubt the democrats put on a better show, but that was only for entertainment value. now the show is over and people are going to start looking at the facts and their bottom line. >> why do you think there was so few mentions of mitt romney? >> i can't tell you. i didn't screen the speeches so i'm not quite sure. >> good point. anne, you know, let's step away from the conventionses here. realistically, do you think anything that happened in either event will have any lasting effect? >> maybe a few photographses that would leave an impression in some voters' minds. but we're talking about such a tiny sliver of the population undecided at this point, it's hard to imagine anything in either convention being all that decisive. at this point, we're looking ahead to the first debate october 3rd, as being something that could decide minds and frankly turn out -- i think susan's right -- a lot of focus
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on the base and each party trying to get their base out. so i think those are the signifiers i would look to even more so than the conventions. >> sit tight, bigs three. coming up next, the best and the worst of the week. you're watching "weekends with alex witt." that before this date, we have to exceed expectations. we have to find new ways to help make life easier, more convenient and more rewarding. it's the reason why we don't have costumers. we have members. american express. welcome in.
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>> i sent out a tweet and somebody said, you should appoint him secretary of explaining stuff. i like that. although i have to admit, it didn't really take stuff. i cleaned that up a little bit. >> i got a good laugh out of that one. we're back with the big three. it's time for the week's best and worst. we're bringing them bapg ck in. there you heard the debate when i called him ex plainer in chief
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when i talked about bill clinton. >> that's why i think bill clinton is the winner of the week. he gave a really good speech at the convention and it's a speech that people are still talking about and even the president is rem referencing it as he probably explained things and laid it out better for president obama than he did himself that night. on the loser of the week, sheldon silver in new york state is now facing an investigation on criminal charges as well as the governor of new york state is investigating for making a payout for one of his colleagues that non knew about. >> hang on, wasn't he your worst of the week last week as well? >> he was. >> so this is an ongoing investigation. >> it went from people finding out that he actually made the payout to now was it appropriate in the fact that knowing he had a history of making these types of payouts before. >> yeah. i just want to say in terms of
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explainer in chief, i think the most intelligent people are those who can take really complicated issues and pare it down so people can understand and communicate them. how about yours, best and worst? >> there's no question bill clinton had a really good week, but i think i want to give the best week to john kerry who in his own convention never got the kind of reviews that he got this week in his really brief speech at the convention. he was stirring, he was compassionate, he was funny. these are all words no one used to describe him in 2004 when he was actual ail nominee. i think for him it was a good week, and especially he is said to have aspirations of being secretary of state. we know hillary clinton will be leaving that job when there is an obama second term, or even if there isn't, he might want it. he's also doing debate prep with the president, so he had a good week. sometimes you got a lot of
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people who it could be the west week for. i guest for lack of anyone, i would give you maryland government o'malley who had his eye on 2016, and it's never good to come out of a convention with your reviews not meeting expectations. that's what happened to him. zuz make a good point there. morris hour morris, how about you? >> i'll go with the wives. i thought mrs. romney and michelle obama, the first lady, did terrific jobs representing their husbands. i think you'll see a move for politicians to get their wives front and center on anything that moves the neeldle. i thought it was a good week and a good convention for both wives. >> worst week? >> that was the economy. we have the republicans continuing to pounce on this issue and with president obama having difficulties explaining away. the real problem is we have structural change in our economy and our politicians and
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particularly the people in washington really need to belly up to the bar and figure out a way to fix the economy. it's the right and the left, and until we get honest and start to look deeply at what do we need to do to change the american economy, we're going to continue to have problems. >> okay, morris reed, the rest of you, awesome job as always. i'll see you right back here tomorrow noon eastern. have a great day. you just missed an awesome dance off between the dads. oh... wow! (laughing) you just missed the cake fight. seriously? everyone's taking pictures like they're paparazzi. are we missing that? we're not, check it out. aww, yeah, haha. excuse me. vo: get all your friends' photos automatically with share shot on the galaxy s3. hey! first dance! are you kidding me???
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